It’s no newsflash that traveling with kids can be a challenge, especially during the holidays. Before you get too worked up about that upcoming long-haul flight or road trip with kids, we’ve compiled a list of great travel gear for families that will make getting from Point A to Point B easier, safer, and hopefully, more fun! From carry-on cases that double as strollers to disposable covers that sanitize airplane trays, these are some of our travel favorites.

Keep>Going First Aid Kit

A mini first aid kit is definitely something you should throw into your carry-on for the next trip. These packs have everything you need from minor boo-boos to dealing with splinters and torn clothes. Their handy zippered container comes in loads of prints and includes a carabiner (which can be surprisingly helpful for lots of travel situations). The Go Kit is a great size for travel with kid-approved bandages included. There’s also an adult kit if you prefer neutral skin-toned bandages. Online:

Pilly Pal

Organization is key when traveling and you’ll want to be prepared for anything that might arise. Pilly Pal keeps your medications and vitamins organized in a too-cute snapping container. You can use their stickers to designate which items are included in each slot so you don’t have to remember. There’s nothing worse than having to run to the store while on vacation so this is a must-include in your carry-on backpack. Online:

Pocket Tripod

We can’t be the only ones who say all screentime rules are out the window when traveling. The Pocket Tripod is great to keep in your wallet as it is as small as a credit card and will set up your phone or tablet for kid viewing while on the airplane. It easily adjusts to devices of different thicknesses and it works great to snap that perfect family pic while you’re out and about.  Online:

Go Happy Travel Tray

Go Happy Kids

If you've ever watched your little jet-setter try to play with her toys on an airplane, you know all too well the pain of collecting LEGO or crayons from a dirty plane floor. Enter the Go Happy Kids Tray, a strap-on tray that keeps tray tables covered and toys (hopefully) off the ground. The tray has a raised border on all sides to keep sippy cups, LEGO, crayons, etc., from rolling right off mid-flight, and the grippy tray bottom keeps the whole thing from sliding. The Go Happy tray also solves the problem of your child eating snacks straight from the dirty tray table. It can also be used on laps, which means it's just as useful at your final destination as it is on the journey. Online:

JetKids BedBox


Got a long flight planned? Maybe you really need to do the red-eye, but the thought of traveling with restless toddlers has stopped you? It doesn’t have to anymore! The JetKids by STOKKE Bedbox is a ride-on suitcase that converts into a bed in a regular coach seat. Seriously! If you’ve got a baby or toddler, the lay-flat bed feature of the BedBox makes it totally worth the price. For older kids, stick with the basic "Ridebox" (it's the same suitcase; it just doesn't have the bed converting apparatus inside), which will give your kids a set of wheels (and a suitcase) to zip around the airport. Kids can safely use the ride-on until they're about 77 lbs.  Online:

Zinc Flyte


Is it a suitcase or a scooter? It’s both! For any parent who has ever had to lug their own child’s suitcase because he is just “too tired,” and for any parent who has felt that fear of missing the flight because of the snail’s pace of airport walking: the Zinc Flyte is your new favorite thing. It comes in three sizes: the mini for ages two to four, the midi for ages four to eight and the soon-to-be-released maxi for ages eight and up. The best part? It actually makes travel even more fun for kids! We can actually see this becoming a thing for kids who walk to school each day. Learn more about it here.

Cost: $79.99 and up


CARES Harness

You have a special seat for your kiddo in the car, why not extend that to the airplane? The CARES Harness keeps young children buckled up safely with the same sort of four-point harness used in baby and toddler car seats. Consequently, it keeps kids from sliding out of their seats during unexpected bumps—and it can help kids feel more secure in the air (which means they may actually sleep on the flight!). Plus, the whole thing weighs less than a pound and fits in your purse when not in use. Online:

RELAY Kid Phone Alternative


Getting to your gate on time can be stressful enough, let alone worrying about whether your little traveler is going to wander away amid the busy airport crowds. The Relay is a cell phone alternative that helps your kids stay in touch should they stray while you're out and about. The stylish, screen-free device works like a walkie-talkie—you just push a button and talk—but it uses cellular and wireless signals, so you don't have to stay within reach of each other to get a signal. It's fun (this writer loved it), and kids will love being able to run around while staying in touch. And, no need to worry about clumsy little hands: it was made to be drop proof, so hand it over to your little one, and give her a little bit of freedom.

Cost: $99 for one relay; $149 for two; $199 for three (plus a $6.99 per month cell charge).


Micro Kickboard Luggage Eazy

Melissa Heckscher

Want to give your toddler a fun way to speed around the airport—without the need for a stroller? Try this nifty invention that makes getting kids to your gate on time way cooler than walking. The Luggage Eazy carry-on (made by the same company that makes Micro scooters) is just like a regular roller suitcase—with one big difference: The top of the case has a built-in seat, so your child can hop on and catch a ride whenever you want to get things going. Rolling your tot around like luggage is way easier than you'd think, thanks to the tripod-style swivel (third) wheel that pops out from the back when your child wants to use the seat. There's also an easy place for your child to prop her feet so that she's perfectly balanced, with no dangling limbs, while in motion.

Note: The seat is designed to fit kids from 18 months to four years old.

Cost: $179.99


Mifold & Hifold Travel Booster Seats


Want to travel with your toddler but NOT your toddler's bulky toddler car seat? The hifold by mifold car seat is here to help. The hifold is a high-back booster seat that folds down small enough to fit in a small carry bag. Not only is it "the most compact, lightweight highback booster ever," it also meets worldwide safety standards and complies with car seat regulations worldwide. If you’ve got older kids—at least four years of age and weighing 40 lbs or more—the mifold the Grab-and-Go Booster is a great option. It folds up to roughly the size of a paperback novel (not kidding about this at all—it is 10x smaller than the average booster and just as safe) and can tuck right into your suitcase or purse. It’s tested and meets regulatory approval in the U.S., U.K. and most other countries. We like it for those times when the rental car seat fails or you’re just not sure who is picking you up at the airport! Online:

CozyPhones Headphones

Melissa Heckscher

Headphones are essential for any flight, but what are kids to do when their free airplane earbuds keep falling out of—or not fitting into—their tiny ear canals? Try a pair of CozyPhones! These fleece-encased headphones look like wraparound ear muffs and keep the small speakers right on top of your tot's ears without sliding out or falling off—and without getting so loud the music hurts her eardrums. Plus, they're super comfy (kids can fall asleep without that bulky push of plastic headphones), come in a variety of animal-themed designs, and will keep your kids a little warmer on those long chilly flights. And, they come in grown-up versions, too! Online: 

JL Childress Spinner Wheelie Deluxe Car Seat Travel Bag

J.L. Childress

Lugging a traditional toddler car seat through the airport can be a workout—and checking your beloved seat with your luggage leaves it open to scratches, dings and grime from who-knows-what it may encounter in transit. Not with the Spinner Wheelie Deluxe Car Seat Travel Bag, which works as both an easy roller and protective cover for your kid's car seat. You'll glide through airports, train stations and cruise terminals with ease thanks to the bag's unique combination of full padding and 360-degree spinner wheels. And, if you're checking the car seat, the bag will protect your child’s car seat from damage, dirt, moisture and germs. Additional features include a top carry handle and a clear ID card pocket. Online:

Additional reporting by Melissa Heckscher, Gabby Cullen & Amber Guetebier

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